“How to Go On”: Poems by Barbara Crooker, Amy Fleury, & Laura Foley Set to Music by Dale Trumbore

A Program Note

Following the death of a loved one, poet Barbara Crooker asks, “How can we go on, knowing the end of the story?” Secular requiem How to Go On answers this question in eight movements that explore our relationship to life and loss, ranging from doubt and introspection to acceptance of our own mortality.

Composed for the versatile singers of Choral Arts Initiative, How to Go On ultimately finds beauty and release in the embrace of everyday life, offering up solace in the words of three living poets—Barbara Crooker, Amy Fleury, and Laura Foley—and in music.

The movements of this piece were designed to be programmed in a flexible order. How to Go On can also be performed in single- or multi-movement excerpts. Preview the score or purchase it for performance through MusicSpoke. 

This piece is recorded on Choral Arts Initiative’s debut album How to Go On: The Choral Works of Dale Trumbore, which also features Trumbore’s works In the Middle, Lodestar, and After the Storm Passes.

A rave review from Textura called the album “remarkable,” noting that “the pristine clarity of the group’s singing is a constant source of joy.” 







Dale Trumbore (b. 1987) has been called “a rising star among modern choral composers” (AXS), and her music has been praised for its “soaring melodies and beguiling harmonies” (The New York Times).

Trumbore’s compositions have been performed widely in the United States and internationally by ensembles including the American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME), Inscape Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, Northwest Symphony Orchestra, Pasadena Symphony, The Singers – Minnesota Choral Artists, and VocalEssence. She has served as Composer in Residence for Nova Vocal Ensemble and as Artist in Residence at Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, Copland House, Dorland Mountain Arts Colony, and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico. 

How to Go On: The Choral Works of Dale Trumbore, Choral Arts Initiative’s album of Trumbore’s choral works, debuted at #6 on Billboard’s Traditional Classical Chart. Choral Arts Northwest, The Esoterics, New York Virtuoso Singers, and soprano Gillian Hollis have also recorded works by Trumbore, and her music is available through Boosey & Hawkes, G. Schirmer, and MusicSpoke.

As a composer who works frequently with words, Trumbore is passionate about setting poems, prose and found text by living authors to music. She has written extensively about overcoming creative blocks and establishing a career in music in essays for 21CM, Cantate Magazine, the Center for New Music, MusicSpoke, and NewMusicBox, and she is currently at work on her first book.

Trumbore holds a dual degree in Music Composition and English from the University of Maryland and a Master of Music degree in Composition from the University of Southern California, where she studied with Morten Lauridsen and Donald Crockett. A New Jersey native, Trumbore currently lives in Los Angeles, her home of nearly a decade, with her fiancé and their extremely helpful cat.